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 Harry Reid blasts GOP over Chuck Hagel block

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PostSubject: Harry Reid blasts GOP over Chuck Hagel block   Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:45 pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Thursday that Republicans have informed him that they plan to block Chuck Hagel's nomination to be the next secretary of Defense over demands for more information from the White House.

Reid suggested that Democrats do not have 60 votes at this time to overcome Republican objections, leaving the nomination in limbo ahead of next week's Senate recess.

Complicating the situation still further was Reid’s announcement that the current holder of the job, Leon Panetta, would clock out later today.

"We do not have, at 12 o'clock today, a secretary of Defense," Reid said. “It’s tragic they’ve decided to filibuster this qualified nominee — it is really unfortunate.”

Democrats earlier appeared confident Hagel would be confirmed in the Senate, despite a bitterly partisan vote in the Senate Armed Services Committee and Republican efforts to delay, if not derail, a final vote in the full Senate.

But with Democrats controlling the Senate with just 55 votes, the former Republican senator from Nebraska needs a Republican lift to get the 60 votes needed to break a GOP filibuster. The vote to end debate is now set for Friday. A simple majority of 51 votes would be needed for confirmation, if debate is ended.

So far, only two Republicans are supporting Hagel: Sens. Mike Johanns of Nebraska and Thad Cochran of Mississippi. And Johanns said on Wednesday he’d vote to end debate.

more here: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/02/harry-reid-blasts-gop-over-chuck-hagel-block-87659.html?hp=f1

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